Saturday, March 15, 2014

Letter From the Sufferer of Anxiety and Depression

Dear John,
I wanted to reach out to you as a friend. I cannot grasp how I feel just now. All is just sorrow, but in an anti-feeling kind of way. Not that I’m ‘sad’ all the time. I just don’t know how to describe this kind of spiritual wasteland I’m in. I cannot operate with any emotional confidence, and waking, that’s just the most horrible thought, from the only serenity I have at present, which is sleep.
I had hoped to visit you, but alas, I cannot hope to leave home today. Today it’s just all too hard. I find myself sunken into a lounge chair or lying on my bed – for hours. I feel immobilized and the very thought of venturing out today polarizes me into the beginnings of what I’m told is a panic attack.
Not all my days at present are like today, though. Some days I feel capable of doing a few hours work, but not a full day. That would be exhausting. My mind wants to tell me off; to criticize me for being lazy. Some of my family thinks I’m lazy. They don’t understand, yet, in a harsh moment, I too find myself coming down hard, and then I really berate myself. Then it’s tears of despair! When will I ever claw my way out of this dark abyss?
I would ask you to visit with me, but I don’t even think I’d have the energy for that. I certainly couldn’t ‘entertain’ you.
I fashioned this little poem:
Energy and passion,
Where O where are you,
Without you both around,
I cannot know what’s true!
You can see I’m really struggling, John. But I don’t want your sympathy. I do want to express myself, though. I find I cannot hold it back – the want to be understood. I hope you can understand. But can I expect you to understand? Not sure on that front. You can see what my mind’s doing. My mind has lost all its confidence and my heart is very weak.
Anyway, I’ve taken up enough space in your life right now. Thanks for reading.
How Can A Friend Respond?
Friends of the depressed and anxious are a God-send. They bring tidings of space, the capacity to listen, they quietly affirm, and they allow themselves to be consumed for their ailing friend while they are there. In this way they lend some of their own strength, which is love.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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